PM, Scheer among MPs to donate pay hike to charities during COVID-19 crisis
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer are among the MPs who are promising to donate an automatic increase in their salaries to charity, as the COVID-19 pandemic ravages the economy and puts thousands of Canadians out of work.
Trudeau has been under pressure to cancel both.However, he has ruled out scrapping the planned increase in the carbon tax and there's nothing he can do about the salary hike without recalling Parliament, which has been adjourned until at least April 20 as part of the nation-wide bid to curb the spread of the deadly virus.
Newsletter sign-up: Get The COVID-19 Brief sent to your inboxUnder legislation passed in 2005 to de-politicize parliamentarians' pay, salaries paid to MPs and senators increase automatically on April 1 each year, based on the average increase negotiated by major bargaining units in the private sector.
This year, MPs are entitled to a 2.1 per cent hike, which will increase their base salaries by just over $3,750 to $182,656.By law, senators are paid $25,000 less than MPs. Hence, they'll each pull in a base salary of $157,656 this year, a 2.4 per cent hike.
The prime minister, leader of the Opposition, the Speakers in both chambers and others with additional duties receive extra, legislated amounts beyond their base salaries.In the aftermath of the 2008 economic meltdown, the previous Conservative government froze parliamentarians' salaries for three years.
Asked Monday about a similar salary freeze now, Trudeau said: "I haven't heard the Parliament of Canada having those discussions, but I'm sure they will reflect on it now that you've asked the question."A freeze would require legislation approved by Parliament, which has been adjourned since mid-March except for a brief day-long sitting last week to pass a bill freeing up billions in emergency aid to help Canadians weather the COVID-19 crisis.
It will likely stay adjourned long beyond the originally scheduled return date of April 20, although another emergency sitting could eventually be required, at which point MPs could also consider a pay freeze.In the meantime, the salary hike is in effect. So, MPs from all parties are vowing to turn over their pay boost to charities and non-profit organizations working to cushion the impact of the national health emergency.
A spokeswoman for the prime minister said Trudeau will give his pay boost to non-profit organizations in his Montreal riding.Similarly, a spokeswoman for Scheer said the Regina-based Opposition leader intends to give his pay increase to "a local charity who is working hard to support Canadians affected by COVID-19."
Denise Siele added that it's up to the government to introduce legislation to freeze parliamentary salaries "should they so choose."NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh "makes donations to organizations and local causes throughout the year and, with the salary raise for MPs, he will increase his donations," said his spokeswoman, Melanie Richer, adding that the same applies to New Democrat MPs.
Various Conservative MPs have issued statements over the past week promising to donate their imminent pay boosts to charities.Given the current crisis, Alberta MP Blaine Calkins called the pay hike "not only untimely but, frankly, it's in poor taste."
Conservatives have also been demanding that Trudeau cancel the planned increase in the federal carbon tax which kicks in today, raising the carbon price on fuel purchases to $30 per tonne from $20. That will mean drivers will pay roughly an extra two cents a litre at the gas pump.
The tax applies in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Nunavut and Yukon, none of which have imposed their own price on carbon that meets the federal standard.In a statement Tuesday, Edmonton Conservative MP Tim Uppal called on the Trudeau Liberals to scrap all planned tax increases during the pandemic, including the carbon tax.
"Too many Canadians are already worried about how they will pay their rent this month or put food on their tables. The last thing they need is a 50 per cent increase to the Liberal carbon tax, which will only increase the cost of gas, groceries and home heating," Uppal said.
However, Trudeau noted that the federal government is also paying rebates that are intended to give Canadians more money than they pay in the carbon tax."The price on pollution has been designed as to put more money in household pockets, more money in the pockets of the middle class while we do the things that are necessary to fight pollution and protect our planet," he said Monday.
Trudeau added that the need to combat climate change "remains even at a time of immediate crisis and pandemic."Michael Berstein, executive director of Clean Prosperity, suggested in a statement that the federal government should refine the rebate program during the crisis.
Among other things, he said families should receive the initially forecasted rebate amounts even if revenues from the tax decline. As well, he suggested that the rebates be sent as immediate direct payments to households, rather than as tax credits.This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 1, 2020.Read more: CTV News »
IN GOD WE TRUST 🙏 CANADIANS PAY CASH 🍁 Trump donates his whole wage, just saying. But he also cares for America but I won't get into that. How is Newfoundland doing? Why give themselves pay hikes to begin with? I don’t believe Trudeau will donate his pay raise. I want to know which charity he donated to...and I want to see a receipt. JustinTrudeau prove you donated your pay raise to charity or it’s just another lie!
One Lucky Sperm®️ was shamed into it. Nobody wants their Noblesse Oblige. We need them to assist in solving the inevitable financial train wreck that's going to happen to the most vulnerable people as soon as the eviction moratoriums have passed. F.U. Give our grocery workers , health care workers, firefighters, police officers, EMTS, janitorial dietary and laundry workers some as well!
How about some for seniors? And ppl on CPP disability? Veterans too Your headline is wrong, Scheer shames Trudeau into also donating his raise. DirtyButts and TrudeauIsNotFitForOffice All of them should. But they are still getting their hike since it is only donated while this is going on.😔 Us peasants don’t get a pay raise this year because our companies are broke, much like the country you work for, broke! In fact, if this continues on much longer most people will be laid off, hows that for a pay decrease?
Hold on.....AndrewScheer was the first on record to donate, JustinTrudeau followed days later, yet you list the PM as first name in your headline?!?!? Appalling regardless Trudeau raised taxes today. Should donate whole salary a d live on ei while paying their mortgage Bill's etc Then maybe they'll finally get it and press for/ pass mortgage/rent 3 to 6 month holiday for commercial and residential
what about donating 50% of their salaries and managing like most Canadians on EI, 50% of their salaries... now that would be the right gesture. And when did we allow Politicians to become an occupation? should be 1-2 terms and no pension until 65 or 67 good to both of you, all the MP's should do the same.
This is more virtue-signalling at the tax-payer's expense. The Canadian government raising taxes at a time when families and businesses are going broke is unforgivable. We will not forget your treachery. is there a full list of all donating their pay raise? would be interesting to see As I understand they cannot refuse it. That's why some are choosing to donate it.
Not a feel good story. AndrewScheer and JustinTrudeau are con men In a moment of crisis they got a pay hike and then they will donate that portion. What a false generosity! Only 900k to go! So they are actually getting a pay hike anyway and then to show the world how good they are, they are going to donate it? That's not being generous, that's being a fucking Canadian. Shouldn't have gotten any pay raise. Period!!!!
Funny news Nice, considering the rest of the country is living on air waiting for EI to then receive 60% of their pay!! Giving your raise to charity provides a nice tax benefit. The right thing to do is to retract the pay raise altogether. How noble of them 🙄 Let's he honest, this money is probably coming straight from the Con donors. Just like thst extra 700k he spent last year.
Hey, infested conservative trolls, READ THE ARTICLE, before you say “hope Trudeau does the same”. stupid PettenRoss That will show you how out of touch government is. In the mist of a pandemic while people are faced with the very worse of times. They take a pay hike. Why are taking the increase? Disgusting. Donating to charity alters nothing. Taxpayers want the money.
Cheap shot but Sheer doesnt need his pay since he was stealing from the PC party so thanks but not really. But you get a tax credit and it’s a political move. Also we never wanted you to get that increase M.P.s and all who are employed by the Public are paid by the Public. These are Public dollars however they are used. Self-approved raises/automatic raises should never be a thing. Public purse requests for raises should require a referendum aka Public’s (our) approval. CDNpoli
There should have been a pay cut not hike in times like this. So they are actually getting a pay hike? Ironic, in a time when so many are losing there jobs. Tax payers on the hook again. Once a politician, always a politician. JustinTrudeau AndrewScheer Simply insulting. It‘s our money; the taxpayers of Canada. And, at a time of unprecedented national/ world health and economic crises politicians are automatically accepting a raise is very, very wrong.
Please donate to charities that helps and assist Autistic children and adults. Thank you! AutismAndCovid19 Covid_19 Let’s see if the lieberals follow suit. DCTFTW I have yet to see one greedy fucken liberal do the same Transparent Publicity stunt Donate their pay. How much? Will it be clawed back from the starving hands of desperate canadians later on?
JustinTrudeau - great decision to sharing your salary increasing amount to charity voluntarily. You are settling an example for others Why is Trudeau taking a salary? He is loaded with a trust fund. Never worked for anything. Trudeau has more days off than he has worked. Trump refuses his salary. Trump is a great leader.
AndrewScheer go away. How about getting rid of the raise all together? Others don’t even have a job ffs. Why would they get a raise? JustinTrudeau you and your team do the same thing!
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